Hook & Jill: Neverland as never before - Andrea Jones

Book Review – Hook & Jill

by Sylvia Shults, East Peoria Times-Courier

Monday, February 15, 2010

I've just finished reading Hook & Jill, by Andrea Jones. Now, I've got a confession to make. I've never read the original Peter Pan. Never was particularly interested in it. I think I may have watched the Disney movie when I was a kid, but it was never really my thing. I picked this book up realizing that I only vaguely knew the story of Peter Pan.

This book is nothing like the story you think you know.

Peter Pan, in this book, is a selfish, arrogant, overbearing, greedy little git. I found myself almost immediately rooting for the dark, mysterious, damaged Captain Hook. And Wendy — oh my, Wendy very quickly grows from a doormat into a heroine we can all admire.

The language — oh, the language in this book captivated me from the very beginning with its unrelenting poetic beauty. I mean, take a look at this, describing the pirate ship: "The ship shifted as the sea tempted her…A bird of prey, she was jessed but menacing." Or this, when Tinker Bell pitches a fit: "She threw herself pell-mell about the room…knocking over a decanter on the dining table, splashing herself in wine. She ended by skittering to a slippery halt on the keys of a harpsichord, pounding purple music from her feet. There she stayed, vibrating with its string as she stamped, screaming in C sharp." I mean, WOW, how much fun is THAT?

And besides the flat-out gorgeous writing, Jones really knows how to spin a tale. There are very few actual love scenes in the book, but the whole thing just oozes sensuality, languid and tensely wound at the same time. The pages practically quiver with excitement, as well as adventure.

There are many, many surprises in Hook & Jill. I refuse to ruin even one of them for you. Please, read it yourself. Read it for the sparklingly imaginative twist on a familiar story. Read it for the incomparable beauty of the words.

Read it, and let yourself be swept away to Neverland.


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